March 17, 2022
Rafael Nadal set up a dream showdown with his Aussie arch-rival Nick Kyrgios at Indian Wells and the tennis world can’t wait!
These are the kind of clashes that maintain the immense popularity of our sport and make us long for Wimbledon 2022.
Kyrgios and Nadal have clashed before at Wimbledon at a time when they really weren’t getting on.
Bad-boy Nick managed to take a set against Rafa at the All England Club but the Spaniard still marched on by playing the biggest points better.
How we would love to see Rafael Nadal play Nick Kyrgios again at Wimbledon 2022!
Whatever you think about some of the bust-ups Kyrgios has on court, one thing is for sure.
He is one of the world’s most entertaining and talented players.
Kyrgios is the ultimate showman and he is also dangerous. The crowds adore him!
Nadal is well aware of this. After edging out Reilly Opelka at Indian Wells, Rafa looked forward to his latest showdown with Nick.
‘When he’s playing well, and when he’s excited and motivated, he’s one of the toughest opponents, without a doubt.’
The statistics back up Rafa’s assessment. Kyrgios has won three out of eight meetings against Nadal and two out of four matches on hard courts.
Nadal’s energy reserves in the desert have been depleted somewhat by two big battles against talented Americans.
Rafa beat the promising Sebastian Korda in a dramatic three-setter. Then he overcame the powerful Opelka is another draining contest.
At one stage Nadal was 2-4 and 15-40 down in a second set against Opelka – and he almost appeared to have given up.
But of course that’s not how Rafa thinks. Despite obvious signs of annoyance with himself, the favourite found a way to resume control.
Eventually Nadal won through 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-5). But the Americans can be proud of their efforts on home soil.
And that spirited resistance might yet have a bearing on Nadal’s ability to take down Kyrgios.
Rafa seemed to be limping at times against Opelka but it didn’t affect his ability to close out.
Kyrgios will enter the big showdown as the fresher man. He benefited from a walkover in the previous round and still went out on court with a microphone to do a question-and-answer session with the crowd.
Next time it will be the real deal. Both players will have to come out with all guns blazing.
And it won’t be long until Kyrgios is back in action at Wimbledon 2022.
Wimbledon is of course a tournament he loves.
Will Nick learn how to get ruthless on the biggest points in the biggest matches?
If he does, he can win anything he wants – Wimbledon included.
Will you be at Wimbledon 2022?
It’s the experience of a lifetime and we can make it happen.